US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that the country’s economy is going to experience “strong growth” in the second half of 2021.
“What we're seeing now is really an economy that seems to be at an inflection point. And that's because of widespread vaccination and strong fiscal support, strong monetary policy support,” Powell explained in an interview with CBS.
The fed chairman said that economic growth and job creation is about to speed up, adding that the “principal risk” to the US economy at this point is that coronavirus would start spreading again.
“I'd say that we and a lot of private sector forecasters see strong growth and strong job creation starting right now. So really, the outlook has brightened substantially,” Powell said. He added that the expected growth in the second half of the year will be “very strong”.
Asked about closed storefronts and businesses that are still in need of help due to the pandemic and lockdowns, Powell called the recovery “unusual”.
“Yes, it's just a very unusual recovery,” he said, explaining that “some parts of the economy are doing very well”, and some others “haven't recovered very much at all yet”.
He said that the parts that have not recovered tend to be those that involve contact with the public, such as entertainment and restaurants.
The fed chair also said that “it's going to take some time” for recovery, speaking about people who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since its global outbreak, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the United States more than any other country, with more than 31 million cases of the virus and over 560,000 dead from complications caused by the disease.
Earlier this month, the US Labor Department announced that US employment had expanded by 916,000 in March, adding to the 468,000 jobs created in February. The stock markets quickly reacted to the news, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 hitting record highs.
US President Joe Biden, however, said in a statement that the US employment and economic recovery still had “a long way to go to get our economy back on track”.
Meanwhile, the top US infectious disease expert director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci said last week that the United States will soon experience its fourth wave of the coronavirus.